Applies to openSUSE Leap 15.0

34 Introducing an Audit Rule Set

The following example configuration illustrates how audit can be used to monitor your system. It highlights the most important items that need to be audited to cover the list of auditable events specified by Controlled Access Protection Profile (CAPP).

The example rule set is divided into the following sections:

To transform this example into a configuration file to use in your live setup, proceed as follows:

  1. Choose the appropriate settings for your setup and adjust them.

  2. Adjust the file /etc/audit/audit.rules by adding rules from the examples below or by modifying existing rules.

Note
Note: Adjusting the Level of Audit Logging

Do not copy the example below into your audit setup without adjusting it to your needs. Determine what and to what extent to audit.

The entire audit.rules is a collection of auditctl commands. Every line in this file expands to a full auditctl command line. The syntax used in the rule set is the same as that of the auditctl command.

34.1 Adding Basic Audit Configuration Parameters

-D1
-b 81922
-f 23

1

Delete any preexisting rules before starting to define new ones.

2

Set the number of buffers to take the audit messages. Depending on the level of audit logging on your system, increase or decrease this figure.

3

Set the failure flag to use when the kernel needs to handle critical errors. Possible values are 0 (silent), 1 (printk, print a failure message), and 2 (panic, halt the system).

By emptying the rule queue with the -D option, you make sure that audit does not use any other rule set than what you are offering it by means of this file. Choosing an appropriate buffer number (-b) is vital to avoid having your system fail because of too high an audit load. Choosing the panic failure flag -f 2 ensures that your audit records are complete even if the system is encountering critical errors. By shutting down the system on a critical error, audit makes sure that no process escapes from its control as it otherwise might if level 1 (printk) were chosen.

Important
Important: Choosing the Failure Flag

Before using your audit rule set on a live system, make sure that the setup has been thoroughly evaluated on test systems using the worst case production workload. It is even more critical that you do this when specifying the -f 2 flag, because this instructs the kernel to panic (perform an immediate halt without flushing pending data to disk) if any thresholds are exceeded. Consider the use of the -f 2 flag for only the most security-conscious environments.

34.2 Adding Watches on Audit Log Files and Configuration Files

Adding watches on your audit configuration files and the log files themselves ensures that you can track any attempt to tamper with the configuration files or detect any attempted accesses to the log files.

Note
Note: Creating Directory and File Watches

Creating watches on a directory is not necessarily sufficient if you need events for file access. Events on directory access are only triggered when the directory's inode is updated with metadata changes. To trigger events on file access, add watches for each file to monitor.

-w /var/log/audit/ 1
-w /var/log/audit/audit.log

-w /var/log/audit/audit_log.1
-w /var/log/audit/audit_log.2
-w /var/log/audit/audit_log.3
-w /var/log/audit/audit_log.4

-w /etc/audit/auditd.conf -p wa2
-w /etc/audit/audit.rules -p wa
-w /etc/libaudit.conf -p wa

1

Set a watch on the directory where the audit log is located. Trigger an event for any type of access attempt to this directory. If you are using log rotation, add watches for the rotated logs as well.

2

Set a watch on an audit configuration file. Log all write and attribute change attempts to this file.

34.3 Monitoring File System Objects

Auditing system calls helps track your system's activity well beyond the application level. By tracking file system–related system calls, get an idea of how your applications are using these system calls and determine whether that use is appropriate. By tracking mount and unmount operations, track the use of external resources (removable media, remote file systems, etc.).

Important
Important: Auditing System Calls

Auditing system calls results in a high logging activity. This activity, in turn, puts a heavy load on the kernel. With a kernel less responsive than usual, the system's backlog and rate limits might be exceeded. Carefully evaluate which system calls to include in your audit rule set and adjust the log settings accordingly. See Section 32.2, “Configuring the Audit Daemon” for details on how to tweak the relevant settings.

-a entry,always -S chmod -S fchmod -S chown -S chown32 -S fchown -S fchown32 -S lchown -S lchown321

-a entry,always -S creat -S open -S truncate -S truncate64 -S ftruncate -S ftruncate642

-a entry,always -S mkdir -S rmdir3

-a entry,always -S unlink -S rename -S link -S symlink4

-a entry,always -S setxattr5
-a entry,always -S lsetxattr
-a entry,always -S fsetxattr
-a entry,always -S removexattr
-a entry,always -S lremovexattr
-a entry,always -S fremovexattr

-a entry,always -S mknod6

-a entry,always -S mount -S umount -S umount27

1

Enable an audit context for system calls related to changing file ownership and permissions. Depending on the hardware architecture of your system, enable or disable the *32 rules. 64-bit systems, like AMD64/Intel 64, require the *32 rules to be removed.

2

Enable an audit context for system calls related to file content modification. Depending on the hardware architecture of your system, enable or disable the *64 rules. 64-bit systems, like AMD64/Intel 64, require the *64 rules to be removed.

3

Enable an audit context for any directory operation, like creating or removing a directory.

4

Enable an audit context for any linking operation, such as creating a symbolic link, creating a link, unlinking, or renaming.

5

Enable an audit context for any operation related to extended file system attributes.

6

Enable an audit context for the mknod system call, which creates special (device) files.

7

Enable an audit context for any mount or umount operation. For the x86 architecture, disable the umount rule. For the Intel 64 architecture, disable the umount2 rule.

34.4 Monitoring Security Configuration Files and Databases

To make sure that your system is not made to do undesired things, track any attempts to change the cron and at configurations or the lists of scheduled jobs. Tracking any write access to the user, group, password and login databases and logs helps you identify any attempts to manipulate your system's user database.

Tracking changes to your system configuration (kernel, services, time, etc.) helps you spot any attempts of others to manipulate essential functionality of your system. Changes to the PAM configuration should also be monitored in a secure environment, because changes in the authentication stack should not be made by anyone other than the administrator, and it should be logged which applications are using PAM and how it is used. The same applies to any other configuration files related to secure authentication and communication.

1
-w /var/spool/atspool
-w /etc/at.allow
-w /etc/at.deny

-w /etc/cron.allow -p wa
-w /etc/cron.deny -p wa
-w /etc/cron.d/ -p wa
-w /etc/cron.daily/ -p wa
-w /etc/cron.hourly/ -p wa
-w /etc/cron.monthly/ -p wa
-w /etc/cron.weekly/ -p wa
-w /etc/crontab -p wa
-w /var/spool/cron/root

2
-w /etc/group -p wa
-w /etc/passwd -p wa
-w /etc/shadow

-w /etc/login.defs -p wa
-w /etc/securetty
-w /var/log/lastlog

3
-w /etc/hosts -p wa
-w /etc/sysconfig/
w /etc/init.d/
w /etc/ld.so.conf -p wa
w /etc/localtime -p wa
w /etc/sysctl.conf -p wa
w /etc/modprobe.d/
w /etc/modprobe.conf.local -p wa
w /etc/modprobe.conf -p wa
4
w /etc/pam.d/
5
-w /etc/aliases -p wa
-w /etc/postfix/ -p wa

6
-w /etc/ssh/sshd_config

-w /etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf
-w /etc/stunnel/stunnel.pem

-w /etc/vsftpd.ftpusers
-w /etc/vsftpd.conf

7
-a exit,always -S sethostname
-w /etc/issue -p wa
-w /etc/issue.net -p wa

1

Set watches on the at and cron configuration and the scheduled jobs and assign labels to these events.

2

Set watches on the user, group, password, and login databases and logs and set labels to better identify any login-related events, such as failed login attempts.

3

Set a watch and a label on the static host name configuration in /etc/hosts. Track changes to the system configuration directory, /etc/sysconfig. Enable per-file watches if you are interested in file events. Set watches and labels for changes to the boot configuration in the /etc/init.d directory. Enable per-file watches if you are interested in file events. Set watches and labels for any changes to the linker configuration in /etc/ld.so.conf. Set watches and a label for /etc/localtime. Set watches and labels for the kernel configuration files /etc/sysctl.conf, /etc/modprobe.d/, /etc/modprobe.conf.local, and /etc/modprobe.conf.

4

Set watches on the PAM configuration directory. If you are interested in particular files below the directory level, add explicit watches to these files as well.

5

Set watches to the postfix configuration to log any write attempt or attribute change and use labels for better tracking in the logs.

6

Set watches and labels on the SSH, stunnel, and vsftpd configuration files.

7

Perform an audit of the sethostname system call and set watches and labels on the system identification configuration in /etc/issue and /etc/issue.net.

34.5 Monitoring Miscellaneous System Calls

Apart from auditing file system related system calls, as described in Section 34.3, “Monitoring File System Objects”, you can also track various other system calls. Tracking task creation helps you understand your applications' behavior. Auditing the umask system call lets you track how processes modify creation mask. Tracking any attempts to change the system time helps you identify anyone or any process trying to manipulate the system time.

1
-a entry,always -S clone -S fork -S vfork

2
-a entry,always -S umask

3
-a entry,always -S adjtimex -S settimeofday

1

Track task creation.

2

Add an audit context to the umask system call.

3

Track attempts to change the system time. adjtimex can be used to skew the time. settimeofday sets the absolute time.

34.6 Filtering System Call Arguments

In addition to the system call auditing introduced in Section 34.3, “Monitoring File System Objects” and Section 34.5, “Monitoring Miscellaneous System Calls”, you can track application behavior to an even higher degree. Applying filters helps you focus audit on areas of primary interest to you. This section introduces filtering system call arguments for non-multiplexed system calls like access and for multiplexed ones like socketcall or ipc. Whether system calls are multiplexed depends on the hardware architecture used. Both socketcall and ipc are not multiplexed on 64-bit architectures, such as AMD64/Intel 64.

Important
Important: Auditing System Calls

Auditing system calls results in high logging activity, which in turn puts a heavy load on the kernel. With a kernel less responsive than usual, the system's backlog and rate limits might well be exceeded. Carefully evaluate which system calls to include in your audit rule set and adjust the log settings accordingly. See Section 32.2, “Configuring the Audit Daemon” for details on how to tweak the relevant settings.

The access system call checks whether a process would be allowed to read, write or test for the existence of a file or file system object. Using the -F filter flag, build rules matching specific access calls in the format-F a1=ACCESS_MODE. Check /usr/include/fcntl.h for a list of possible arguments to the access system call.

-a entry,always -S access -F a1=41
-a entry,always -S access -F a1=62
-a entry,always -S access -F a1=73

1

Audit the access system call, but only if the second argument of the system call (mode) is 4 (R_OK). This rule filters for all access calls testing for sufficient read permissions to a file or file system object accessed by a user or process.

2

Audit the access system call, but only if the second argument of the system call (mode) is 6, meaning 4 OR 2, which translates to R_OK OR W_OK. This rule filters for access calls testing for sufficient read and write permissions.

3

Audit the access system call, but only if the second argument of the system call (mode) is 7, meaning 4 OR 2 OR 1, which translates to R_OK OR W_OK OR X_OK. This rule filters for access calls testing for sufficient read, write, and execute permissions.

The socketcall system call is a multiplexed system call. Multiplexed means that there is only one system call for all possible calls and that libc passes the actual system call to use as the first argument (a0). Check the manual page of socketcall for possible system calls and refer to /usr/src/linux/include/linux/net.h for a list of possible argument values and system call names. Audit supports filtering for specific system calls using a -F a0=SYSCALL_NUMBER.

-a entry,always -S socketcall -F a0=1 -F a1=101
## Use this line on x86_64, ia64 instead
#-a entry,always -S socket -F a0=10

-a entry,always -S socketcall -F a0=52
## Use this line on x86_64, ia64 instead
#-a entry, always -S accept

1

Audit the socket(PF_INET6) system call. The -F a0=1 filter matches all socket system calls and the -F a1=10 filter narrows the matches down to socket system calls carrying the IPv6 protocol family domain parameter (PF_INET6). Check /usr/include/linux/net.h for the first argument (a0) and /usr/src/linux/include/linux/socket.h for the second parameter (a1). 64-bit platforms, like AMD64/Intel 64, do not use multiplexing on socketcall system calls. For these platforms, comment the rule and add the plain system call rules with a filter on PF_INET6.

2

Audit the socketcall system call. The filter flag is set to filter for a0=5 as the first argument to socketcall, which translates to the accept system call if you check /usr/include/linux/net.h. 64-bit platforms, like AMD64/Intel 64, do not use multiplexing on socketcall system calls. For these platforms, comment the rule and add the plain system call rule without argument filtering.

The ipc system call is another example of multiplexed system calls. The actual call to invoke is determined by the first argument passed to the ipc system call. Filtering for these arguments helps you focus on those IPC calls of interest to you. Check /usr/include/linux/ipc.h for possible argument values.

1
## msgctl
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=14
## msgget
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=13
## Use these lines on x86_64, ia64 instead
#-a entry,always -S msgctl
#-a entry,always -S msgget

2
## semctl
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=3
## semget
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=2
## semop
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=1
## semtimedop
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=4
## Use these lines on x86_64, ia64 instead
#-a entry,always -S semctl
#-a entry,always -S semget
#-a entry,always -S semop
#-a entry,always -S semtimedop

3
## shmctl
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=24
## shmget
-a entry,always -S ipc -F a0=23
## Use these lines on x86_64, ia64 instead
#-a entry,always -S shmctl
#-a entry,always -S shmget

1

Audit system calls related to IPC SYSV message queues. In this case, the a0 values specify that auditing is added for the msgctl and msgget system calls (14 and 13). 64-bit platforms, like AMD64/Intel 64, do not use multiplexing on ipc system calls. For these platforms, comment the first two rules and add the plain system call rules without argument filtering.

2

Audit system calls related to IPC SYSV message semaphores. In this case, the a0 values specify that auditing is added for the semctl, semget, semop, and semtimedop system calls (3, 2, 1, and 4). 64-bit platforms, like AMD64/Intel 64, do not use multiplexing on ipc system calls. For these platforms, comment the first four rules and add the plain system call rules without argument filtering.

3

Audit system calls related to IPC SYSV shared memory. In this case, the a0 values specify that auditing is added for the shmctl and shmget system calls (24, 23). 64-bit platforms, like AMD64/Intel 64, do not use multiplexing on ipc system calls. For these platforms, comment the first two rules and add the plain system call rules without argument filtering.

34.7 Managing Audit Event Records Using Keys

After configuring a few rules generating events and populating the logs, you need to find a way to tell one event from the other. Using the ausearch command, you can filter the logs for various criteria. Using ausearch -m MESSAGE_TYPE, you can at least filter for events of a certain type. However, to be able to filter for events related to a particular rule, you need to add a key to this rule in the /etc/audit/audit.rules file. This key is then added to the event record every time the rule logs an event. To retrieve these log entries, simply run ausearch -k YOUR_KEY to get a list of records related to the rule carrying this particular key.

As an example, assume you have added the following rule to your rule file:

-w /etc/audit/audit.rules -p wa

Without a key assigned to it, you would probably need to filter for SYSCALL or PATH events then use grep or similar tools to isolate any events related to the above rule. Now, add a key to the above rule, using the -k option:

-w /etc/audit/audit.rules -p wa -k CFG_audit.rules

You can specify any text string as key. Distinguish watches related to different types of files (configuration files or log files) from one another using different key prefixes (CFG, LOG, etc.) followed by the file name. Finding any records related to the above rule now comes down to the following:

ausearch -k CFG_audit.rules
----
time->Thu Feb 19 09:09:54 2009
type=PATH msg=audit(1235030994.032:8649): item=3 name="audit.rules~" inode=370603 dev=08:06 mode=0100640 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00
type=PATH msg=audit(1235030994.032:8649): item=2 name="audit.rules" inode=370603 dev=08:06 mode=0100640 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00
type=PATH msg=audit(1235030994.032:8649): item=1  name="/etc/audit" inode=368599 dev=08:06 mode=040750 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00
type=PATH msg=audit(1235030994.032:8649): item=0  name="/etc/audit" inode=368599 dev=08:06 mode=040750 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00
type=CWD msg=audit(1235030994.032:8649):  cwd="/etc/audit"
type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1235030994.032:8649): arch=c000003e syscall=82 success=yes exit=0 a0=7deeb0 a1=883b30 a2=2 a3=ffffffffffffffff items=4 ppid=25400 pid=32619 auid=0 uid=0 gid=0 euid=0 suid=0 fsuid=0 egid=0 sgid=0 fsgid=0 tty=pts1 ses=1164 comm="vim" exe="/bin/vim-normal" key="CFG_audit.rules"
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